A NEW shop has opened in Wellington which allows independent traders to rent for short periods of time.

The Pop Up, based in Fore Street, has been opened thanks to backing from Wellington Town Council.

The shops has been in the works for some time, but is now ready to start trading.

Mayor of Wellington, Janet Lloyd, officially cut the ribbon on Monday evening (October 14).

She said: "This is an amazing opportunity for new traders to come to Wellington.

"I hope that may new retailers take root and flourish here.”

Somerset County Gazette:

HARD WORK: Mayor Janet Lloyd cutting the ribbon at the new town council-backed location

Traders and voluntary organisations will be able to use the shop for periods of between a week and a month, paying a commercial rent (zero for charities) on a flexible basis.

The first trader to use the shop is local artist Claire Western, who will be holding a week-long studio sale from Monday October 21.

She said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for me to clear out my studio and offer people to buy a painting at a big discount because there’s no gallery commission to pay.

“Like most painters every few years I end up with more work than I have room to store, so it’s a bit of a clear-out for me.”

The British Legion then has it for two weeks, and others are booked in for the run-up to Christmas.

The goal of the Pop Up is to encourage shoppers to visit the town, as well as providing opportunities to smaller independent retailers and voluntary organisations to have a town centre base, without having to sign a lengthy lease.

Keith Wheatley, member of the group behind the new shop, said: "“It’s been a difficult process to find the right premises, agree terms with the landlord and then renovate the shop – which used to be the Wet and Wild fishmongers.

“If even one of those traders goes on take an empty shop in the town on a full-time basis in the first year then it’s been a hugely worthwhile experiment.

"Compared with many small British market towns Wellington is thriving and vibrant but it will take work and imagination to keep it that way.

"All credit to the town council for having the vision to provide the financial support to make this project possible.”

The Pop-Up is also supported by C and C Carpets, which has provided floor coverings and Carly Press, responsible for signage.

Volunteers have worked hard for the past month to clean and decorate the shop.

Anyone interested in using the Pop Up can email the shop manager Nancy Powell-Brace at npowellbrace@gmail.com.